HealthWorld

Doctor fined for amputating wrong leg of patient, other leg to be cut off

An Austrian doctor amputated the wrong leg of a patient and has been fined $3,049 (about £2,296), BBC reported.

The elderly patient was supposed to have his left leg cut off, but instead, his right one was removed, according to the report. But the unfortunate mistake was found out only two days after the surgery.

A court found the unnamed 43-year-old surgeon guilty of gross negligence and issued the fine.

The widow of the patient, who died before the case came to court, was also awarded $5,660 (€5,000) in damages. 

The patient arrived at the Freistadt clinic in May to have his leg amputated. However, the doctor reportedly marked the wrong appendage to be sliced off.

During a bandage change, the mistake was discovered and the patient was instructed to have his other limb amputated too.

The hospital said in a statement that “the causes and circumstances of this medical error have been analyzed in detail.”

According to the Austrian newspaper Kurier, the surgeon explained during court that there was an issue involving the chain of command during surgery.

The doctor was asked why she marked the wrong leg and she simply replied, “I just don’t know.”

She has since been moved to a new hospital and half of her fine was suspended.

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